2024 promises to be an opportunity for Republicans in Congress, particularly in the House of Representatives, to stymie the Biden administration’s multi-front onslaught against America.
But this can only occur if the House GOP can focus on what brings them together rather than what drives them apart. After the Dec. 31 departure of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the expulsion of former U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) and the anticipated early March retirement of U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) cut the Republicans’ razor thin majority in half. While the GOP is expected to hold the McCarthy and Johnson seats, governing in 2024 requires virtual unanimity in the House GOP Conference, something in short supply.
This is not a philosophical debate but one of numbers.
The House of Representatives is a majority rule body. Whoever can get a majority on the floor, controls the debate and wins the day. The bloodletting of the last year has had some positive impacts on limiting the power of the Speaker in the House, opening up opportunity for more members to get their ideas considered for inclusion in legislation. This expanded voice of individual House members has taken power from a very few members and staff and dispersed it is a very good thing.
What isn’t a good thing and is not sustainable is the constant knife at the throat of the Speaker, who was just elected by the House GOP a couple of months ago, known as a motion to vacate the chair. The motion to vacate is an important safeguard to prevent a run-away speakership, but in a historically narrow majority it threatens to become Robespierre’s guillotine once again sending the House into anarchy.
The House GOP needs to draw together right now to stop the Biden administration’s refusal to enforce our nation’s laws at the border allowing an estimated eight plus million illegals to enter out country in just three years. Congressional Democrats hope to use the border crisis to create a pathway to citizenship for millions of the nearly 30 million who now have taken up residence in our country. The House GOP and their Senate colleagues need to say no to the Democrats on their created crisis. They need to unite to say no special funding to sanctuary cities and states like California which is now ignoring its own $60 billion plus debt to provide free health care to illegals. They need to unite to say no special funding for cities and states which refuse to allow the deportation of criminal illegals. And they need to unite to force the Biden administration to seal the border.
The ugly fact is that since Joe Biden has become president, Border Patrol reports that there have been more than 8 million illegal aliens encounters at the border and this does not include 1.5 million or more ‘gotaways’ who the Border Patrol observed but were not able to detain.
This is an existential crisis for our nation, and Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is focused on it like a laser beam. But he cannot lead with the guillotine being dragged behind him everywhere he goes. The presumption that he could lose power at any moment neuters his ability to lead, and that is dangerous for our nation.
Our nation has big, real crises, which cannot wait for President Biden’s defeat and replacement in January of 2024. The House GOP has a majority. It is time they pick one or two issues they can come together on, and get some wins. The border, exposing Biden’s corruption and abuse of power in office through unconstitutional regulations and at least enforcing the debt ceiling level of spending should be three that can be agreed upon.
With a three-vote majority facing a narrow Senate Democrat majority and a far-left White House, it is unreasonable to expect massive wins across the board, but if they come together, they can put some temporary 2024 patches on some big problems. It won’t be easy, but it must be done.
Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.